This Week in Native American News (1/25/19): the 2020 census, a Cree Barbie, and the D.C. Incident

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January 25, 2019


Why The U.S. Census Starts In Alaska's Most Remote, Rural Villages

The moon hangs low in the sky over the remote Inupiat Eskimo village of Noorvik, Alaska, the first community in the U.S. counted for the 2010 census.  Carolyn Kaster/AP

The moon hangs low in the sky over the remote Inupiat Eskimo village of Noorvik, Alaska, the first community in the U.S. counted for the 2010 census. Carolyn Kaster/AP

Ever since Alaska joined the union as the 49th state in 1959, the most remote parts of the most northern state have gotten a head start on the national head count.

The tradition is set to continue with the 2020 census, which is kicking off next Jan. 21 in southwest Alaska's Toksook Bay. The small village on the Bering Sea has been selected as the first community to be counted for the census, the Census Bureau announced in October during the annual convention of the Alaska Federation of Natives in Anchorage.

For most households in the U.S., the bureau is planning to start mailing out forms and letters for the upcoming head count a few weeks ahead of April 1, 2020, the official Census Day.

In rural Alaska, however, the mail system can be unreliable. More than 80 percent of communities in the state are not connected by roads or highways.

To meet the constitutional requirement of counting every resident, the bureau has learned that the key in remote Alaska is to have snow boots on the ground. Census workers have to be deployed months ahead of Census Day so they can knock on doors before the snow and ice are melting during the spring thaw.

"The best time to get to those communities is usually in the winter, when the ground is frozen [and] when you might have more than one means of travel," Gore says. "Often it's a combination of dog sled or snow machine travel or bush plane to get into a community."

Read the Full Story Here


Filmmaker named role model by Mattel challenges toy giant to create Cree Barbie

Sonya Ballantyne started a petition asking Mattel to create a Cree Barbie. (Cella Lao Rousseau)

Sonya Ballantyne started a petition asking Mattel to create a Cree Barbie. (Cella Lao Rousseau)

A Manitoba writer and filmmaker is urging the creators of Barbie to come up with a Cree version of the iconic doll because she says it's important Indigenous youth see themselves reflected throughout society, and that includes in toy stores.

Mattel, the company behind Barbie, recently selected Sonya Ballantyne as one of 60 Canadian female role models.

Ballantyne, who is Cree and from Misipawistik First Nation, near Grand Rapids, Man., said she doesn't like being the centre of attention but was thrilled to be selected.

Read the Full Story Here


The Incident

Chances are you’ve heard about the incident that occured in Washington D.C. last week between groups of Native Americans, high school boys, and Black Israelites. We recommend you get as much information as you can. Hear stories from all sides, then come to your own conclusion.

You can see the Full Video Here (it’s an hour and 46 minutes long)


It's hard to fit so much news in such a small space.
To read all of this week's news, visit the LIM Magazine.

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